Monday, July 30, 2007


On page 15 Siemens defines connectivism as "the assertion that learning is primarily a network-forming process."

There is no doubt that web 2.0 tools can aide in connectivism, and that connectivism is desirable in the classroom. The battle for any teacher is, and always has been, getting his or her students to make connections among nodes of knowledge. This usually requires a certain degree of emotional involvement on the part of the student. Web 2.0 tools can certainly aide in creating an environment for emotions to become involved so that connections and learning can occur, however to assume that because a teacher is having his or her students blog or enter data on a wiki as opposed to discuss in class or create more "traditional" projects in the classroom setting that said teacher's students are engaging in connectivism and learning.

The challenge to us teachers still remains that of relevancy. Students can just as easily mindlessly blog or enter information within a wiki as they can mindlessly journal or fill out a worksheet. No matter what tools we use, it will be crucial to create relevancy for our students.

There is no doubt that packaging the information in a way that is familiar to students helps and that is why I'm immensely excited about using web 2.0 tools during this upcoming school year.


Jane said...

Hi Mr. K. I am a student in Dean Shareski's ECMP 455 class.
I couldn't agree with you more when you say that along with the web 2.0 tools, the learning will need to be made relevant to the learner.
As a future teacher, I believe that this will be a very important aspect of my learner's success. I do think that it will be a challenge to always make the learning relevant to each individual. I guess that is where connecting with each learner on a daily basis, and forming authentic relationships will come in.

Susan said...

I believe you will find that without first creating those relationships Jane mentions, it will be quite a battle to help students realize connections. They are more motivated when they see that what you are teaching is relevant in their lives. I do not see how you can know how to make the lesson relevant if you do not know the student and that is very hard with 120+ teenagers.

pjforbes said...

Mr. K, I ageee completely with your statement. Making those connections with the children that apply to their real world experiences is the way to teach. Whatever the modality is if it doesn't connect or relate to them the chances of them retaining the information is low. However, teaching them about the tools and technology that is available to them and teaching them how to communicate and share ideas with students 1,000 of miles away is so important in today's world and the future of our children will be so connected to the computers that I can't see how we can avoid using the internet as part of our instruction.